Archive | January, 2014

EPA and NOAA Propose Disapproving of Oregon’s Coastal Nonpoint Pollution Program

On Dec. 19, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) opened a 90-day public comment period on a proposal to disapprove Oregon’s coastal nonpoint pollution program. The program, they say, falls short in three key areas: water quality impacts from forestry, septic systems, and new development. In controlling […]

Continue Reading

Maryland and Virginia Release New Stormwater Permits

In late December, the Maryland Department of the Environment released three new municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) permits for the state’s most populous areas: Baltimore, Baltimore County, and Prince George’s County. A permit for Anne Arundel County is expected soon. The stringent new stormwater permits are based on the District of Columbia’s permit and […]

Continue Reading

Federal Efforts Falling Short on Chesapeake Bay Clean Water Blueprint, Says CBF

On Dec. 30, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) released a statement saying federal efforts to restore the bay have fallen short in three main areas: expanding forest buffers, air quality, and complying with the Clean Water Act in approving stormwater permits. Further actions to achieve these particular goals have not been included in the next […]

Continue Reading

WRI Assesses Mississippi River Basin Initiative

On Jan. 7, the World Resources Institute (WRI) released the first in a three-part series of reports focused on the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Conservation Service (NRCS) Mississippi River Basin Initiative (MRBI). The report provides an assessment of the program, which started in 2009. The program is still in its initial implementation phase, so […]

Continue Reading

Public Comment Opens on Bay Delta Conservation Plan

California’s $25-billion Bay Delta Conservation Plan, which will deliver water to Southern California, is now open for public comment. The plan is an application to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Fisheries Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for a 50-year permit. It includes two 56-km (35-mi) long tunnels and three intake pumps […]

Continue Reading

Mayors Meet With EPA to Discuss Integrated Planning and Affordability

On Dec. 13, the U.S. Conference of Mayors met with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to discuss potential revisions to the agency’s “Combined Sewer Overflows: Guidance for Financial Capability Assessment and Schedule Development” report as well as a draft EPA proposal that seeks to broaden affordability factors of Clean Water Act requirements. This dialogue […]

Continue Reading

Con Edison Improves Storm Resiliency of Energy Systems

Con Edison, the energy utility for metropolitan New York, is taking measures to make its systems more storm resistant under a rate-setting agreement with New York officials. The company will invest $1 billion over the next four years in storm and climate change protection measures while maintaining its commitment to greener communities. Con Edison is […]

Continue Reading

Expert Panel Provides Recommendations on Waterbody Connectivity Report

From Dec. 16–18, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) convened a meeting of an assembled Science Advisory Board Panel to review the agency’s draft water body connectivity report, released in late September. The panel found inconsistencies between the evidence provided in the report, which synthesized 1,000 peer-reviewed papers, and the conclusions drawn. According to the […]

Continue Reading

China Proposes Ecological Red Line System

In December, China’s State Council announced plans to protect natural resources and decrease pollution by focusing on ecologically fragile areas. The council proposed the establishment of ecological red lines, which would designate areas to be protected from further development. The term red line refers to a baseline that must be maintained to improve ecosystem functions. […]

Continue Reading

Groundwater Pumping Causing Land Subsidence in Southern Chesapeake Bay, USGS Study Says

On Dec. 9, U.S. Geological Survey Virginia Water Science Center and the agency’s Office of Groundwater released a study on the effects of groundwater withdrawals on land subsidence in the Southern Chesapeake Bay. The land surface is sinking due primarily to groundwater withdrawals, causing increased flooding and sea-level rise in the communities and coastal habitats […]

Continue Reading